July 10, 2001
The AALL Research Committee has awarded AALL Research Grants to fund two projects that illustrate the growing scope and significance of law librarianship. One project focuses on worldwide access to instruction in legal bibliography via the Internet and the other examines how lawyers conduct legal research.
The Internet is transforming the process of knowledge transfer, particularly distance learning, according to Xia Chen, reference librarian, and Frederick E. Smith, librarian emeritus, both of the Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law. So the librarians proposed the project "Web-Based Distance Learning of Principles of American Legal Bibliography." This project endeavors to make information and instruction in legal bibliography and research in American law available to a domestic and worldwide population. Chen and Smith will develop models for self-instructional and monitored instructional use of Web-based materials and scenarios. The models will also simultaneously be developed as a teaching module in Chinese for students abroad who speak the language. Chen and Smith intend to make this instructional module available in other languages, too (e.g. Spanish).
The other funded project is titled "How Lawyers Do Legal Research," by Kris Gilliland, director of the law library and assistant professor of law at the University of Mississippi Law Library. Her project continues the work of Morris Cohen, Penny A. Hazelton and Patricia DeGeorges to create a core set of data on how lawyers, new or experienced, conduct and perceive all aspects of legal research. She will specifically focus on approach and planning procedures, format preferences, secondary source use and preferences, evaluative criteria employed, amount of time spent, and general awareness and familiarity with currently available resources.
These projects are financed with grants from the AALL Research Fund: An Endowment Established by LexisNexisTM, which is administered by the AALL Research Committee. Created with a $100,000 pledge from LexisNexis™, the grants subsidize projects that create, disseminate, or use legal and law-related information that advances the profession of library science. For more information about the AALL Research Grant, please visit http://www.aallnet.org/about/grant_application.asp.
The AALL Research Committee, AALL and its corporate partner, LexisNexis™, extend their congratulations to this year's recipients of the AALL Research Grant.